OU-Kansas Hoops Preview

NORMAN, Okla. — Sooners Illustrated breaks down OU's Big 12 home opener against the Kansas Jayhawks Saturday afternoon.


The Sooners, losers of two of their last three, return home to face the 11-3 Jayhawks inside Lloyd Noble Center. Kansas boasts the nation's No. 14/15 ranking and is coming off a 67-49 blowout victory over in-state rival Kansas State, while OU lost its first conference game to Missouri, 87-49. The Jayhawks own the series lead 136-64 and are the only Big 12 squad with a winning record over the Sooners.

Sooner Notes:

--OU is 10-5 in Big 12 Conference home openers and has won 19 of its last 23 home games.

--Junior trio of guard Steven Pledger and forwards Andrew Fitzgerald and Romero Osby have combined for 54.8 percent shooting at home this season.

--The Sooners rank 11th nationally with 40.7 rebounds per game.

--OU has shot better than 50 percent from 3-point range in four of its last eight outings but has managed just 3.7 per game over the last three.

--Prior to Tuesday's loss, OU has been stifling defensively, limiting opponents to just 59.4 points per game over the previous seven contests.

Looking at the Jayhawks:

--Kansas is 8-0 at home but just 3-3 away from Allen Fieldhouse. All three of those losses have come on neutral courts (75-65 to Kentucky in New York, 68-61 to Duke in Hawaii, 80-74 to Davidson in Kansas City.

--The Jayhawks average 75.4 points per game and 47.9 percent from the field, which ranks fourth in the conference.

--Junior forward Thomas Robinson leads the team in scoring with his 17.5 points per game.

--Senior guard Tyshawn Taylor nets 15.1 points per contest and a team-high 5.1 assists per game. That ranks fourth in the Big 12.

--Head coach Bill Self is in his ninth year as head coach of the Jayhawks, with a 248-49 record.

Projected Starters:


F Andrew Fitzgerald (6-8, 247, Jr., 12.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg)

F Romero Osby (6-8, 232, Jr., 10.5 ppg, 8.3 rbg)

G Sam Grooms (6-1, 203, Jr., 7.0 ppg, 5.5 apg)

G Steven Pledger (6-2, 205, Jr., 18.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg)

G Cameron Clark (6-6, 198, So., 8.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg)


F Thomas Robinson (6-8, 240, Sr., 17.5 ppg, 12.3 rpg)

C Jeff Withey(6-2, 195, Sr., 7.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg)

G Tyshawn Taylor (5-10, 175, So., 15.1 ppg, 5.1 apg)

G Elijah Johnson (6-3, 185, Sr., 9.7 ppg, 3.8 apg)

G Travis Releford (6-6, 200, Sr., 8.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg)

Sooners Illustrated's Take:

The Sooners haven't been very competitive with Kansas as of late. But that should change with this one. They were thumped the other night at Missouri and will be out for redemption, which should make this game close. However, Kansas still just has more talent that Lon Kruger's squad at this point and will be able to pull it out.

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